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conference_present_year: 2015

What's Left?

Alberta and the Future of Canada

This year's Parkland Institute fall conference will explore the potential for progressive change offered by Alberta's dramatic spring election. After over 40 years of neoliberal policy construction in the province, has our concept of what it means to be progressive shifted? To what extent can truly progressive policy be implemented in the province? And, as Alberta changes, could the province lead federal conversations on progressive public policy in the country?

Register for the 2015 Fall Conference » 


Full Conference

Parkland Supporters: $135 / $95 Low Income
Regular: $175 / $110 Low Income

Keynote only

Tickets: $20 / $15 Low Income

Single sessions

Tickets: $15 / $10 Low Income


Opening Keynote

Alex Himelfarb

The Decline of the Collective

with Alex Himelfarb

Today taxes are seen as a burden and tax cuts are treated as the last free lunch. While we increasingly demand politicians tell us the cost of new initiatives, we don’t ask about the cost of tax cuts. This distorted conversation on taxes has evolved over two decades. Alex Himelfarb explores the history and the consequences for Canadians on the assault on taxes.

Alex Himelfarb is a former top public servant and public policy expert. He served as director of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs at York University from 2009-2014 when he was then appointed director emeritus.

Closing Keynote

Kathleen Monk

Looking Back, Looking Forward

with Kathleen Monk

Dramatic change has occurred in progressive politics. Kathleen Monk, former director of strategic communications to Jack Layton and founding executive director of the Broadbent Institute, will examine the recent Alberta and federal elections and reflect on the state of progressive politics in Canada, and its future.

Kathleen Monk was the founding executive director of the Broadbent Institute. She served as director of strategic communications for NDP leader Jack Layton. She previously worked in newsrooms in Toronto, Ottawa, and Washington. She's a frequent media commentator and was named one of the 100 most influential people in Government and Politics by the Hill Times in 2012.


Stephanie Bloomingdale
Saturday Morning Plenary

Feeling Wisconsin's Labour Pains: Stopping Alberta and North America's Union-Busting Contagion

with Stephanie Bloomingdale

The abrupt end to Wisconsin's union-busting Governor Scott Walker's presidential bid does not signal an end to the war on working people. We must recognize and respond to the growing threat against unions in the US, Canada and across the globe. Framed by recent events in Wisconsin, Bloomingdale examines who's behind the anti-labour agenda and how progressive movements in Alberta can stop the anti-union crusade from spilling across the border.

Duncan Cameron
Saturday Afternoon Plenary

Agenda for a Peaceful Revolution

with Duncan Cameron

What is the agenda for revolutionary change in Canada? Duncan Cameron proposes transformation of the ecologically unsustainable business-as-usual global economy to create a green economy under democratic control; negotiate a new intergenerational bargain that balances the needs of young and old Canadians alike; and move social determinants of health to the very centre of our public policy decisions to create the conditions necessary for a healthy future for all.

Gregg M Olsen
Sunday Morning Plenary

Poverty & Austerity Amidst Affluence

with Gregg M. Olsen

Despite the prosperity and economic growth witnessed in Canada, the UK and the US over the past 30 years, poverty has remained stable or increased, and its severity and consequences have intensified. Although social policy retrenchment and austerity have been widespread across the developed world, many nations have consistently outperformed their Anglo/American counterparts, with less inequality, lower poverty levels and far greater social supports. What is possible in the current era of globalization?